Tuesday, February 21, 2012


PBO "S" sent me an update on Bonnie after morning feeding.  Bonnie was still not swallowing normally, but was swallowing better than last night.  This was at least a "nothing worse". 

Vet gets there and I show her pictures of last nights swelling.  She grabs a flashlight, gloves and stethoscope.  She  prefers to exam the horse in their stall so long as they are quiet, so we walked into Bonnie's stall and put her halter and lead rope on her.  

First check is teeth and interior of mouth.  After realizing that Bonnie wasn't going to be stupid she had me toss the lead rope of Bonnie's withers and hold the flash light and looked all the way to the back of her throat.  She felt all her teeth etc.  Her only comments is that there were no waves to surfaces of her teeth.  She explained that waves are important on the surface to move hay from front to back.

Other than that, nothing wrong with her teeth or mouth.

She moved on to the swelling on her nose.  It is very swollen on the right side, the left I believe is just "spread" from the right side.

She pushed lightly on the spot itself and Bonnie did a bit of head tossing.  She's not a head tossing type of horse so it obviously bothered her.  She pushed in certain spot in the bump and Bonnie reacted very violently from pain.  She then pushed on the same spot on the opposite side and there was no reaction from Bonnie.

M. in the diagram below is the root of her pain...


M is the Infra-Orbital Nerve.

This nerve controls sensation not motor function.  It is also the culprit in neurotic head shakers.

Vet believes that she bumped her face or, more likely, was on the receiving end of at least one hoof, probably a pair of hooves. The other probably hit her in the neck causing the swelling there yesterday.  Just took a few days for it to come out.  

Treatment is a couple of days of Banamine.

She ate her mash much better tonight.  No strange swallow thing going on at all.   

At this point I will completely relax once she starts drinking water normally.  She's not dehydrated by capillary refill rate on the gums, but her flanks are sunk in.  


  1. Interesting - and what a relief! Glad it's nothing more horrible than that.

  2. Poor girl - the pain relief should make a big difference. Sunken flanks can be from not eating as much as not drinking - if she's more comfortable things should be OK soon.

  3. It's so much more comforting to have an answer than not knowing! Hope she starts to feel better soon?

    Any idea who the hooves belong to?

  4. It sounds like the vet did a very thorough and thoughtful exam.
    I hope everything gets a bit better each day.

  5. I'll be keeping her in my thoughts - and you too! so glad the vet found the problem.

    A little worried about the teeth, though.

    If she's been power floated that can cause very smooth, almost glass like surfaces on teeth. You might want to look into a horse tooth floater that doesn't use power tools. My mare had a terrible reaction (tmj) and it took almost six months for her bite and attitude to heal.

  6. Hopefully she will be on the road to recovery quickly. Good that the Vet came and could give you some answers.

  7. Ok, never mind, I read about the dentist visit. Amazing she's kept such a good attitude.

    Yesh. Just terrible when they get sick!

  8. I feel so bad for her and for you. But thankfully it sounds like it is not real serious (as in life-threatening). I know how it feels to have a horse with a health problem -- my Divna was in the hospital 3 times, had 3 surgeries and then lost her eye. I will thinking of both of you and hope it all clears up soon.

  9. ...glad you got an answer, and she's starting to do a little better. Poor thing......(poor you too!).

  10. Oh my! just catching up, hope she resolves quickly!

  11. What a sweet girl she is. I love this horse. Glad she has nothing major wrong with her and will heal soon and feel better. Wonder who hoofed her? give her a hug from me.

  12. So glad your vet was able to pin point the problem so quickly.

  13. Poor Bonnie...I'm just getting caught up. I wonder if she pinched a nerve somehow. Sounds painful in that one area. I hope you'll be able to get to the bottom of the issues and she'll be healed and feeling better soon.

    I noticed that your Vet was concerned about Bonnie having no waves. That surprises me. Especially her telling you that waves actually HELP a horse move food from front to back.

    That information can't be further from the truth. Apache had a wave mouth caused by a lack of dental care and it caused her chewing difficulties and trying to move her food to the back of her mouth.

    Wave mouths are abnormal and cause a severe inability for a horse to process food. Horses with a wave mouth are inefficient grinders, will require more frequent dental care and dietary modification to ensure adequate nutrition is maintained.
    But overzealous correction of a wave mouth can have disastrous results for the horse, too. Perhaps this has happened with Bonnie?

    An uneven molar table or wave mouth causes gradual excessive wear to many of the molars resulting in poor utilization of food and eventual tooth loss. A horse chews food from side to side in a rotating manner. Molar problems/wave mouth inhibit the normal grinding motion necessary for eating.

    I found this website Q & A which explained it even better. Perhaps you should share it with your Vet?




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